Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Everard Meade, 8 April 1800

To Everard Meade

Philadelphia. Apr. 8. 1800.

Dear Sir

I have to acknolege the reciept of your favor of Mar. 9. I consider the request it contains, as the form you have chosen for manifesting your friendly dispositions towards me, & that they lead you to wish me an honor to which I have not the presumption to think myself destined, much less have I taken on myself to contemplate the details of it’s duties. we have lately heard of strange occurrences in France. what is to be the issue of republicanism there may now be doubted. some here consider this last revolution as an additional proof of the impracticability of republican government. but I will never believe that man is incapable of self-government; that he has no resources but in a master, who is but a man like himself, and generally a worse man, inasmuch as power tends to deprave him. on the other hand I view this last revolution as an additional lesson against a standing army without which, it is evident Buonaparte could not have accomplished it, nor could now maintain it. our vessel however is moored at such a distance from theirs that should they blow up, we need not feel the shock. we have only to stand firm at our oars, & nothing can injure us. all I ask from France & the world is peace & a good price for our wheat and tobacco. I beg you to be assured of my friendly attachment to you, and my wishes for your ease & happiness, being with very sincere esteem Dear Sir Your friend & servt

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “Genl. E. Meade.”

Everard Meade (1748–1802) was educated at Harrow in England, and lived there for approximately five years. In 1767 he built the Hermitage in Amelia County, Virginia, where he resided after the American Revolution. He was commissioned on 8 Mch. 1776 as a captain in the second Virginia regiment and served until 1 May 1780, when he was appointed General Benjamin Lincoln’s aide-decamp with the rank of major. After the war, he was named a brigadier general and then a major general of militia and received land grants from Virginia for his revolutionary services. Meade served in the House of Delegates, 1780–81 and 1782–83, and in the state senate from 1794 to 1798 (P. Hamilton Baskervill, Andrew Meade of Ireland and Virginia; His Ancestors, and Some of His Descendants and Their Connections [Richmond, 1921], 41–4; Hortense Funsten Durand, The Ancestors and Descendants of Colonel David Funsten and His Wife Susan Everard Meade [New York, 1926], 54–5; Kathleen H. Hadfield, ed., Historical Notes on Amelia County, Virginia [Amelia, Va., 1982], 295; Leonard, General Assembly description begins Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619–January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, Richmond, 1978 description ends , 137, 145, 149, 197, 201, 205, 209).

Meade’s favor of Mar. 9 has not been found but TJ recorded it in SJL as received on 24 Mch.

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